Yaupon Holly

When I saw this in my grandmothers garden I knew I was on the right track to talk about the Yaupon Holly. This plant is big medicine. Everywhere you read about it there are white folks telling you about what it was used for by native people or sometimes they just skip that all together to point out that yaupon is North America's only native caffeine plant.

[ and  yes folks, the Kingdom of Hawai'i is not really America ]

Yaupon is documented to have been a heavily traded plant from the Rappahannock in VA to the Tequesta in FL. The trade also extended to enslaved peoples as it was found to be cultivated on plantations throughout the Southeast.

Firstly, yaupon is a ceremony herb. It is used in ceremony all over the Southeast. In the Florida Seminole community it is used in a concoction delivered to participants of the annual green corn celebrations which marks the beginning of the New Year. When the corn is young, clans come together to acknowledge the past year, give thanks and purge. One of the ways purification or purging takes form is in the administration of a drink which likely is made with berries of the yaupon tree. After all, yaupon is a holly and holly's are poisonous. For instance, Pokeberry and Mullein seeds are both poisonous, so ingesting the seeds would bring about vomiting. You body is expelling poisons and other bad medicine from its' system ( spirit ). Vomiting is an age old indigenous routine to purge your spirit of things that may intend to harm you. General purification. My grandma told my dad and his brothers never eat the berries on this bush cause it was Indian medicine. Yet she cultivated this plant on her property because as with all poisons they contain great medicine. I am definite she used the leaves to make teas for her clients after childbirth to strengthen their cavities. The leaves of the Yaupon ( young and green ) are used as medicine. The tea has a light-to-dark caramel color when brewed. It contains 30% more antioxidants than regular green tea and has a higher caffeine content than coffee ☕️#folksways #yaupon #medicinalteas #poskita #isk #hhr #hushharborrootworks #florida #medicinefolk #happynewyear #corndance

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